How To Try Microsoft’s New Family Safety App

How To Try Microsoft’s New Family Safety App
Image: Shutterstock

Microsoft announced its new Family Safety app back in March, and you can now sign up for a limited preview of the app on iOS or Android. The idea behind the app is to give parents a glimpse at how their kids are spending time on their devices, so they can make adjustments as needed. The app also allows family members to more easily share their locations and stay connected.

If you want to take it out for a spin, you can download the app right now from Google Play or the App Store. You’ll also have to sign up for the limited preview on Microsoft’s website and wait for an approval. If you make it into the official preview, you’ll be able to do a ton of stuff:

Monitor your child’s smartphone activity

One cool thing about Family Safety is that it monitors activity across multiple devices. That means you’re not only able to see how your child is using their smartphone or tablet, but also see what they’ve been up to on their computer (or Xbox).

Screenshot: Microsoft

As a parent, you’ll be able to see your child’s overall screen time as well as their top websites visited and what they’re searching for online. You can check their activity within the app or sign up for a weekly email summary of what your kid has been doing—likely Minecraft. It’s always Minecraft.

Set screen-time limits for your device-obsessed child

With the screen limits feature in Microsoft’s Family Safety app, you’re able to set limits on specific types of activities. For instance, you might limit the amount of time your child can spend on a gaming site they enjoy, but offer unlimited access to the portal they use for schoolwork. (They’ll love that one.)

Screenshot: Microsoft

If your child runs out of the time you’ve allotted, they can place a request with you for more time. Whether you grant that request is up to you—and how well they mowed the lawn that day.

Control your kid’s access to apps and websites

The app also allows you to block apps, games, and sites your child will be able to access (the latter, if they’re using Microsoft’s Edge browser). You’ll also receive a notification if your child tries to download an app that’s more mature than what you’ve allowed them to access. Sorry, seven-year-old fans of Doom Eternal.

Screenshot: Microsoft

Find out where your family is

Similar to other location-sharing apps, Family Safety also allows you to know where your family members are at any given time—or, at least, their devices.

Screenshot: Microsoft

You can also save frequently visited places like work and school on the map so you can determine where someone is at a quick glance.

Log in to comment on this story!